The Story of prahlad and Hiranyakashipu
There was a king named as Hiranayashipu having his capital at present day Multan in Punjab. Hiranyashipu were two brothers. His brother, Hiranyaksha was killed in Varaha Avatar of Vishnu Bhagwan. On hearing the death of his brother, Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakashipu decided to fight with Vishnu ji. His mother Diti satisfied him by telling a number of stories. He thought that he would first obtain a boon to be immortal and then fight. When he was leaving home, his wife Kayadhu asked, when he would return. He told her that time is not yet decided as he would do tapasya (penance) for ten thousand years to obtain many perfections.
He went to Mandranchal Mountain. When devas heard about his tapasya, they went to Guru Brahaspati and requested to produce hindrance in his tapasya. Guru Brahaspati took the form of a parrot and started chanting Narayana on the same tree where Hiranyakshipu was doing tapasya. As Hiranyakashipu had started mantra japa, parrot also started Narayana japa. When Hiranyakshipu saw this, he thought that he is doing japa for killing Vishnu ji and the parrot is doing japa of Narayana only. From where this parrot has come, he is not leaving. It appears, today is not auspicious day for japa and hence he left for house.
Kayadhu was surprised to see him back. She was keen know the reason. Since Hiranyakshipu was an angry person, she did not ask him directly. She made good food to feed him so that she could know the reason. She started praising his husband to know the details of the incident happened in the forest. She said, he is very intelligent, ascetic and winner as Indra, Chandra etc. devas as afraid of him. Nobody is as braver than him. She is so fortunate to have him as husband. Hiranyakshipu was very happy to hear his praise and said about the incident. Kayadhu was happy to hear the name of Narayana from her husband. She again asked her husband, what the parrot was repeating. Hiranyashipu said, Narayana, Narayana. Kayadhu expressed surprise, how the parrot can speak. Hiranyashipu said in affirmation, he spoke Narayana, Narayana. Like this, Kayadhu made her husband to speak 108 times Narayana. When parents were repeating Narayana, Prahlad was established in fetus. Hence, Prahlad, the great bhakta of Vishnu ji was born to them. Later, Hiranyashipu left for tapasya in forest. He was doing tapas for thirty six thousand years. He even was doing it without food and water.
Brahma ji was happy with the tapasya of Hiranyashipu. Hiranyashipu was covered by mud from all side. Brahma ji sprinkled water and asked his wish. He said Brahma ji that he should be given a boon of becoming immortal. Brahma ji said everybody has to die and asked him for another boon. Hiranyashipu said, he wanted only one boon. Hence, give me a boon that I should die neither in day nor night, by non-living nor living, by instrument nor missile weapon. Brahma ji gave the boon. Now with the boon, Hiranyashipu became very powerful. Devas prayed almighty. Almighty assured the incarnation and killing him as and when the Hiranyashipu showed enmity and intended to kill his son.
Son of Hiranyashipu was born and grew in passage of time. He was named as Prahlad as he gave happiness and delight to everybody. Shand and Amark were two sons of Daityo’s Guru Shukracharya. Hiranyashipu called them to teach Political science to his son Prahlad at the age of five. Shand & Amark taught Prahlad political science but Prahlad was inclined towards Bhakti since he was as fetus. They brought him in royal assembly in expectation of reward. Hiranayashipu asked Prahlad, what he had been taught. Prahlad said, father, he understood with his experience that living being has been born several times in form of man, woman, animal, bird etc. Thousands of years have passed for being separated from almighty and immersed in sensual pleasures, still this living being is unsatisfied. Contentment is derived not by enjoying but by renunciation. This world is full of sorrows. Everybody is distressed. When sins and good deeds are equal, one takes birth as human being. He has to endure sins and enjoy good deeds. This world is transforming every moment. Father, I am born several times. He further added, he could say with experience that this world does not have anything except selfishness and falseness. World is full of falseness and dishonesty. Hiranayashipu got infuriated hearing the statements of Prahlad. He asked Shadamark, what kind of teaching, they have done. Shandamark told that they never taught all this. Hiranyashipu said to Prahlad that devas are afraid of him. He cautioned him. Shandamark asked Prahlad, when they have not taught such lessons and why he is speaking like this before his father. Prahlad told them that Guru ji, person neither tread towards almighty by saying of anybody nor worship almighty. Without Satsang and grace of saints, nobody can be bhakta. However, by grace of almighty also, devotion comes.
After a few days, Hiranayashipu again enquired Prahlad about progress of his education. Prahlad said, father, there are nine kinds of bhakti of Vishnu ji viz. shravana, kirtan, remembering names of Vishnu ji, service of feet, worshipping, salutation, service, fellowship and offering of self. This is navdha bhakti. By Navdha bhakti, almighty pleases and by his pleasure life become successful. Hearing all this from his son, Hiranayashipu got angry and threw Prahlad from his lap. He ordered his subordinates to kill him as he praises his enemy. The subordinates tried to kill Prahlad. They started beating him. Prahlad was fearless.
Hiranayashipu tried several techniques to kill Prahlad but he did not die. Hiranayashipu thought that Prahlad would be magician. He had ordered to imprison Prahlad in a dark room and stopped giving him food, so he would die in absence of food and water. Prahlad thought that this would be good for doing bhajan peacefully. Darkness did not afraid Prahlad. He started Shri Krishna bhajan and gradually he lost his body perception. Vishnu ji enquired Lakshmi ji whether anybody is hungry in the world. Lakshmi ji informed that his bhakta Prahlad is hungry in captivity. Vishnu ji advised to send prasada for him. Hiranayashipu’s attendants were surprised to see food with Prahlad as they were constantly watchful. They told the incident to Hiranayashipu. Hiranayashipu personally came to see it. He asked Prahlad who had given him the food. Prahlad told him that he had given the prasada who nourished him during pregnancy.
Once, Prahlad was immersed in bhajan of almighty. His friends also absorbed in the bhajan and started dancing. At that moment, Shandamark came there. They rebuked them and asked to stop bhajan. But nobody listened them. Shandamark held the hands of Prahlad. As soon as they held the hands of Prahlad, they also started dancing. Hiranayashipu sent one attendant to examine the education being given by Shandamark. No sooner the attendant came to see it; he tried to stop Shandamark by holding their hands. But as soon as he touched the hands of Shandamark, he had also started dancing. He forgot purpose his coming there. Then Hiranayashipu sent another attendant. But whosoever came there, they involved in dancing and kirtan of Bhagwan Vishnu. Hiranayashipu was puzzled and came himself. He was very much angered and said to Prahlad that he was still doing Bhajan of Vishnu ji. He further said, nobody is god except him. The king caught hold Prahlad and thrown on the ground. Hiranayashipu was not affected by touching the hands of Prahlad as he was highly tamsic. Prahlad saluted his father. Hiranayashipu asked him where his protector, Vishnu is. Prahlad told him that Vishnu ji is everywhere. Prahlad told him that he claimed himself winner of world but winner is one who wins over his manas (मन) and Kama, Krodha etc. Hiranayashipu shouted at Prahlad on his giving sermons to him and asked where his protector is. Prahlad again told him that he is everywhere. Then Hiranayashipu said, whether Vishnu is in this pillar also. Prahlad told, yes, Vishnu ji is in this pillar also. Hiranayashipu told, and then he would break the pillar and kill him. As soon as the king came running with the sward and attacked on the pillar. Immediately, Shri Narsingh Swamy appeared from the pillar and caught Hiranayashipu take him in his lap. Shri Narsingh Swamy told him that it is neither day nor night, he is neither on earth nor in sky, he would killed neither by arms nor missiles and neither inside house nor outside. Shri Narsingh Swamy killed Hiranayashipu by his nails at groundsel.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran